Are you at Risk of Career Burnout?

Career burnout or job burnout syndrome is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term exposure to demanding, stressful, and pressure filled work situations. Burnout is the cumulative result of persistent stress at work.

What Factors Affect Likelihood of Suffering from Career Burnout? There are many reasons why a person can end up suffering from burnout syndrome. These are some of the most common ones.

1) Lack of control. You may be in a position where you want to create change in your organization, get credit for your work, work on projects reflective of your values, or be given more responsibility. You may also be stressed out about the amount of work you are given or the type of projects you are being instructed to work on. Your feeling a lack of control can be a huge factor in whether you will suffer from burnout syndrome as a result of your stress.

2) Ambiguity at work. When you are not given clear and specific instructions on what is expected of you in regards to performance, numbers, and quality of work, you can feel powerless and frustrated. Another common ambiguity is uncertainty about the degree of authority you have in your position and whether or not you have the necessary resources to successfully complete your projects.

3) Hostility. Hostility at work is a very common type of dysfunctional dynamic. You may be working with a bully, being disrespected by your staff, be undermined by colleagues, share office space with someone who is passive aggressive, or have a boss who makes you feel incompetent and un-trustworthy. These things can quickly add up and lead you to burnout symptoms.

4) Misaligned values. When you work for an organization whose values do not reflect your own, you do yourself damage. You rob yourself of integrity little by little and chip away your sense of fulfillment and personal satisfaction on a daily basis. This will wear on you each day you work in that position and in that company. Being true to yourself is absolutely essential to living a fulfilled and happy life.

5) Monotony. When a job is monotonous, you need constant energy to remain focused, which can easily result in a huge energy drain and job burnout.

You may also be more likely to suffer from job burnout if:

• You relate your identity with your career.

• You don’t ever say “NO” at work or at home.

• You try to do it all yourself.

• Your job is monotonous.

• You feel you have little or no decision power over your projects.

• You work in a helping profession, such as health care, counseling, teaching or law.

What are the Most Common Job Burnout Symptoms?

Ask yourself these questions. The more often you respond “Yes,” the more likely it is that you are suffering from burnout syndrome or are very close to it. Be honest with yourself.

• Do you find that you are becoming or have been more critical of yourself?

• Do you use sarcasm at work often?

• Have you forgotten the last time you laughed until your stomach hurt?

• Do you drag yourself into work each morning?

• Do you find it more difficult to focus your attention on tasks now?

• Have you become more irritable and less patient with co-workers, customers, or family members?

• Do you feel like your career is stuck?

• Do you feel no professional fulfillment and have begun to think it’s normal to feel that way?

• Is it difficult for you to laugh at yourself?

• Are you eating more, drinking more alcohol, smoking more, or even using drugs or sedatives?

• Do you have problems going to bed at night?

• Have you begun to get migraines or back pains?

• Do you feel like your career gives you no personal satisfaction?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may be experiencing or may be on your way to experiencing job burnout. Some of these symptoms can also be indications of depression and related conditions. You should consult with your health care provider about your symptoms.

Keep in mind that nobody is perfect. You don’t have super powers nor are you expected to be a super hero. It is humanly impossible to do and be everything to everyone.

Author's Bio: 

Sonia Gallagher is an Executive Life Coach at Time for Life, LLC. She works with Lawyers, Business Owners, and Executives who are ready to be challenged and to reach new levels of Success through Balance. Together, they design systems to: 1. Improve time-management and business development, 2. Create work life balance in alignment with their desired lifestyle, and 3. Overcome limiting thoughts and behavior in the way of their personal and professional goals.

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